David Jamieson responds to Cameron's speech on 'Ethical Capitalism'.
If it’s not an inspired work of surrealism, then Eaton-reared David Cameron really is inviting us to believe that capitalism is the benign force for ‘social progress’ that will ‘smash poverty’. Moreover those city bankers who have just helped themselves to some £400 million in bonuses from the nationalised RBS are to be revered as the ‘wealth creators’ upon whom we all depend for ‘jobs and investment’ and that those who deride them are ‘dangerous’ and ‘snobs’.
It’s all comedy gold of course. Never mind that Cameron’s ‘wealth creators’ – all good chaps you know – are the very same who helped sink the economy, having spent a feckless decade or more living off speculation; or that Cameron’s government is presiding over the most vulgar assault on living standards in decades of sink hole neo-liberal Britain.
Forget that George Osborne – whose personal fortune is so vast he has to employ a company to hide his savings and assets from public view for fear of embarrassment – having geared the national economy toward the interest of the wealthy, has wrought a standing monument to economic mismanagement. Nearly every week the news about the economy gets worse, the latest being the revelation that Britain could face credit downgrading.
And pretend you don’t know, just for now, that having produced this mess, the rich are now content to rub our faces in it – with crap like the Workfare scheme, where the unemployed are to work un-paid for the UK’s wealthiest corporation, and the scandal of public funds being raided once again by those captains of RBS (who, if Cameron is to be believed could magic up no end of ‘jobs and investment’ if only they could be bothered). Suspend your disbelief – because Cameron knows its rubbish too.
David Cameron is a conscious charlatan engaging in a favourite technique of playground wind-ups. “See that thing that you think we are – that’s what you are”. Very clever. The recent circus of pro-corporate rants was given a false start by Ed Miliband who, as in so many other instances, having launched the debate about ‘ethical capitalism’ then lost the initiative to Cameron and was left wriggling energetically in the background; mouth gaping, eyes empty like a beached tadpole.
But Cameron’s ideology drive isn’t just an exercise in tempting fate – he’s genuinely scared of the public mood. He feels what we all know, that the centre cannot hold; that the privations are too much and the insults to flagrant. He wants to steal the debate from the parameters established by, amongst others, the occupy movement. His bankers’ government is feeling the heat over Landsley’s NHS reforms, over Workfare and the bonus culture, not to mention the faltering economy.
‘Ethical Capitalism’? After two hundred and thirty odd years of the industrial revolution – despite enormous advances born of ingenuity and labour of the masses of ordinary people, rather than some self-identifying wealth creating elite – the world remains shackled by enormous poverty, the wars escalate and oppression of every description springs eternal. Perhaps if the system coulda, it woulda – but it hasn’t.
As the world tumbles deeper into crisis change is down to us. We could do worse than move back into the field of debate by taking action against Tesco and Workfare on the 3rd March.
From International Socialist Group site
More articles from this author
- The war in Ukraine is escalating out of control
- The deep divisions beneath the Tory meltdown
- The battle of Kenmure Street: the new Tory assault and the growing resistance
- Scottish students shouldn’t be downgraded for being working class
- The setbacks for Palestine solidarity and the need to fight back
- The SNP, Russia and the turn to the establishment
- China crisis: questions and answers